Ho­tels are tar­get­ing the mil­len­nial mar­ket

Cater­ing to the younger, tech-savvy gen­er­a­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - TRAVEL - KATE SIL­VER

Ho­tels, they are a-changin’, as hote­liers de­velop prop­er­ties that cater to the younger, tech-savvy gen­er­a­tions.

New and older brands are mak­ing moves to do away with the beige, in­ter­act via apps, dou­ble as co-work­ing and so­cial spa­ces, and score share­able selfie love along the way.

But don’t call them “mil­len­nial ho­tels.” While many of the perks and ameni­ties are in­spired by re­search on the group, the prop­er­ties in­cluded be­low — Hy­att Cen­tric, Radis­son RED, Ho­tel EMC2 and Res­i­dence Inn by Mar­riott — aim to ap­peal to guests of all ages.

Scott Green­berg, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Smasho­tels, a hos­pi­tal­ity man­age­ment com­pany near Chicago — and also the owner and founder of Ho­tel EMC2, a smart, new Chicago ho­tel with an art-and-sci­ence theme in Mar­riott’s Autograph Col­lec­tion — says he knows that if he de­vel­ops a ho­tel that his three mil­len­nial-aged chil­dren will love, older gen­er­a­tions will fol­low.

“If we at­tract young peo­ple, old peo­ple will show up. But if you build a ho­tel for old peo­ple, young peo­ple never show up,” Green­berg says.

Rose An­der­son, vice-pres­i­dent of global brand­ing and in­no­va­tion with Carl­son Rezi­dor Ho­tel Group, which owns Radis­son Red, says she is less in­ter­ested in res­onat­ing with a par­tic­u­lar gen­er­a­tion and more with a men­tal­ity.

“It’s not so much about the age; it’s more about the be­hav­iours that have been kind of pegged to the mil­len­ni­als: very so­cial, on­line, con­nected. We are very much tar­get­ing a mil­len­nial mind­set ver­sus a gen­er­a­tional au­di­ence,” An­der­son says.

Even long-stand­ing brands such as Res­i­dence Inn are putting re­search into un­cov­er­ing what mil­len­ni­als want.

“You don’t want to be alien­at­ing some of your cus­tomers in or­der to ap­peal to some of your other cus­tomers,” says Diane Mayer, vice pres­i­dent and global brand man­ager of Res­i­dence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea and Mar­riott Ex­ec­u­tive Apart­ments. “So, if you can find things that maybe are mil­len­nial-driven but that have uni­ver­sal ap­peal, that’s the Holy Grail.”

While ameni­ties such as free WiFi and stel­lar bar pro­grams are prac­ti­cally a given now in ho­tels look­ing to woo younger au­di­ences, here are some other trends to look for on your next get­away (mil­len­nial-driven or not).


Res­i­dence Inn prop­er­ties host events with food truck vis­its, ap­pe­tiz­ers, desserts and pre­mium beers.

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